Former airline pilots sentenced to prison

July 22, 2005|By SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL

MIAMI - Two former America West pilots appeared dumbfounded yesterday when a Miami-Dade judge sentenced them to prison for operating an aircraft while drunk.

Circuit Court Judge David Young sentenced Thomas Cloyd of Peoria, Ariz., to five years in prison, the maximum allowed by law. He sentenced Christopher Hughes of Leander, Texas, to 2 1/2 years in state prison, 1 1/2 years of community control and one year of probation.

Hughes must also complete 250 hours of community service, pay a $5,000 fine and write a letter of apology to his children.

Prosecutors said Cloyd and Hughes where intoxicated when they climbed into the cockpit July 1, 2002, after a night of heavy drinking. Hours after their arrest, both pilots had a blood alcohol level higher than Florida's legal limit of .08.

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